The Sherman Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Act, and the Robson-Patman Act are responsible for establishing the legislation for Antitrust. Most states have additional antitrust laws as well. These acts cover many things, but one key issue for Property Management Professionals is that they are not to discuss, collude, or set fees/commissions with other real estate agents, brokers, and/or group.
It may seem harmless to talk with peers about your management or leasing fees, but it IS illegal. This is probably the biggest violation of Antitrust among Property Managers. Be careful of any discussion, email, or any other form of communication that could show you are violating Antitrust. It can be dangerous, leading to huge financial liability, loss of licensing, and could even mean a prison term. Do NOT treat this lightly – take the time to think about how you could be violating this important legislation.
Do not forget to include this in your Policy and Procedures Manuals. Here are important points to include:
- Antitrust prohibits discussion on fees, commissions, charges, and business practices as it relates to control of others during any type of gathering.
- Antitrust forbids price fixing on real estate commissions or fees between licensed real estate agents/brokers or real estate groups.
- Antitrust forbids assignment of “territories” between agencies.
- Antitrust forbids “boycotting” of specific parties between agencies.
If you need more education on this crucial issue, read the FTC Guide To The Antitrust Laws for an overview of the different antitrust acts and those responsible for enforcement.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.